Palestine on Tuesday began its coronavirus vaccination campaign starting with medical workers, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. 

Medical staff include those who work in intensive care units, at medical centers and hospitals treating coronavirus patients.

Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila received the vaccine at Hugo Chavez Hospital in Ramallah, while medical staff working in the intensive care units were vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine, according to the ministry.

The ministry added that the second category of the Palestinian population that will receive the vaccine are elderly people over the age of 60 and those with chronic diseases.

“This campaign will be completed with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, as 5,000 doses will arrive in Palestine within days, in addition to 37,000 doses under the COVAX initiative,” said al-Kaila.

COVAX is an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines and to make them available to poor and middle-income countries that do not have the ability to sign bilateral agreements for the pre-purchase of the vaccines.

“The Palestinian government has purchased the British AstraZeneca vaccine, and it will arrive in the country during the coming period,” the minister said.

“This campaign will continue until we reach the vaccination of 3.2 million people, and this matter will take months.”

As of Tuesday evening, the number of coronavirus cases in Palestine totaled 180,018, including 2,032 deaths and 169,191 recoveries, including in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, according to the Ministry of Health.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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